Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tricking the eye

There's one not-original feature to the house that I really and truly enjoy: the entry hall coat closet.

When the Ugly Duckling was a Duplex, the former entry hall was closed in and became a bedroom. The teeniest, cramped bedroom you could imagine, especially after the addition of a rather big closet. One of the first projects we tackled after closing on our little old house was to rip open those walls and restore the old floorplan.
However, since we need to be budget-conscious, we decided to postpone the restoration of the original staircase. The millwork is there, all the original trim is safely enclosed behind a drywall cover, so once that is removed all we need to install are spindles and a new wooden handrail. It's going to be beautiful, but it would mean losing this humongous closet of holding, and closet space does come at a premium in old houses.

Anyways, when the closet was built, the previous owner didn't care about matching the trim. They just slapped on some teeny baseboards and quarter rounds and called it a day.

These modern baseboards don't really deserve to be called base boards. I mean look at them! That's not a board. That's a sliver of a piece of wood! About a third of the size of the original baseboards, they appear insubstantial and flimsy.

Since the days of the closet and thus the days of its weeny trim are counted, we weren't going to replace it. That money is going right into the staircase fund.

What's a girl to do? Mismatched trim ain't gonna do it. Yes, it's mostly hidden behind a big ol' steamer trunk but still. It's there, I know it's there - something has to happen.

I have paint and I'm not afraid to use it. Turns out you can trick the eye just fine by painting the wall with the paint used for the baseboards. See what I mean? Here I'm just done priming the area. If you squint, you can't tell that the left side is the side with the wimpy baseboards.

Pennies in paint evened out the mismatched trim. You can catch a glimpse of the steamer trunk
that's usually sitting right in that corner serving as a bench and storage for gloves and hats and scarves (and some more boardgames).

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